Roy Lichtenstein’s Peace Through Chemistry is a five part series composed in the early 1970s. The sequence utilises surprising materials and reference points, depicting the neglect of nature in favour of industrialisation. This colourful planographic print is part of a signed and limited edition of 32.
The strategies of printmaking are fundamental to the visual language of Roy Lichtenstein. Peace Through Chemistry I, executed in 1971, is from a five part sequence composed of four prints and one bronze plate. The bold artwork repurposes the inescapable style of commercial culture, thereby counteracting notions of fine art.
Three panels are presented in Peace Through Chemistry I, demarcated through a pairing of dominant outlines, akin to a triptych, and flat areas of primary colour. Lichtenstein’s vibrant Ben Day dots and regularised stripes dominate the surface of the print. Peace Through Chemistry Idepicts a schematised progression, starting with natural imagery and concluding with a portrait of scientific growth. The artist uses elementary symbols to mark the different themes. As such, he situates a leafy branch on the left, factory gears in the middle and the geometric profile of a man holding a test tube on the right.
Peace Through Chemistry I is a colourful satire, ridiculing industrialisation’s claim that peace is achievable through a scientific approach. Additionally, the work also functions as a cubist revision of the motivational posters disseminated throughout America during the Great Depression era. Lichtenstein’sPeace Through Chemistry I is a brilliant printed mural, pinning humanity against machinery.